By: Peter van de Wiel

October 25, 2020

Impact of EU LIFE programme on nature

In the EU Green Week, the European Commission published the new state of Europe’s nature. Vulnerable species, habitats and protected nature areas were examined.

During the EU Green Week in October 2020 the European Commission published its latest assessment of the state of nature in the European Union. It provides a comprehensive overview of the situation of Europe’s most vulnerable species and habitats protected under EU nature laws.

The assessment – based on a more detailed technical report of the European Environment Agency – shows that while there are protected species and habitats that are managing to hold the line despite being subject to major pressure, the majority have poor or bad status at EU level, with some showing continued deteriorating trends.

The report also shows that targeted conservation action brings results. The Iberian lynx, the forest reindeer and the otter, each of which has been targeted by major conservation projects, are now recovering. Initiatives under the EU LIFE programme – the EU’s key funding source for nature, and the Natura 2000 network with its 27,000 sites continue to have a positive influence, but this needs to be scaled up considerably.

This conclusion is underpinned by a detailed technical study which showed that great achievements are observed at local and regional levels. A brochure offers a more accessible version of the study.

As part of an assignment with NEEMO in support of the LIFE Programme Delbaere Consulting led the technical study, contributed to the brochure, moderated the Green Week session on the LIFE programme and provided a minor input to the 2020 State of Nature in the EU report. In response to this work I was interviewed by the European Green Journal, in contribution to the article ‘Roots in Nature: The Pathogen and the Politics of Biodiversity‘.